With all of its idyllic islands, fabulous sandy beaches and the turquoise sea, you could be forgiven for thinking that Croatia was a tropical holiday paradise. It would be easy to forget that the country on the Adriatic is more or less just down the road. The drive to Croatia still involves a little effort, but as we know, the journey is its own reward, and we can promise you that the journey on this particular route has plenty to offer.
The adventure begins in the southernmost part of Germany, in the beautiful Berchtesgadener Land. Here we leave our home country and cross the border into Austria. Just a few kilometres over the border is the first stop on our trip, the wonderful city of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Some of the city’s highlights are not to be missed. For example, there is the colossal Hohensalzburg fort with a view of the entire city, the Mozarthaus, the old cathedral and Mirabell castle.
We depart from Salzburg with a satisfied feeling and take the motorway heading south, keeping a constant eye on the surrounding impressive Alpine panorama. Once we have passed through the Tauern tunnel and the Katschberg tunnel, we reach the state of Kärnten. Here too there is plenty to discover. The small and pretty town of Spittal an der Drau, the state capital of Klagenfurt and the small town of Villach are particularly worth seeing.
Then we continue south through the Karawanken tunnel to Slovenia. The first stop is the picturesque spa resort of Bled. From the shores of Lake Bled you have a superb view of the small island in the middle of the lake, on which you will find the Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church), and Bled Castle on the hillside. The temperature of the lake can increase to up to 25 degrees centigrade during the summer, making it a wonderful bathing paradise.
It is worth making a detour to the state capital of Ljubljana on the way to the Adriatic. After an extensive tour of the city, you move straight on to one of the country’s most impressive sights. The caves of Postojna are some of the biggest stalactite caves in the world, and are a must during any trip to Slovenia.
From here it is just a stone’s throw to the Croatian border. We finally see the sea at the port of Rijeka. A walk along the magnificent shore promenade with a view of the National Theatre and the Modello palace is particularly worth the effort. We then continue eastwards to the “Golden Island” of Krk, where beautiful bays and beaches invite you for a swim. After a relaxing stay on the island, we head to the mainland and Dalmatia. Anyone who is interested in history mustn’t miss the Roman ruins at Zadar. Once you are there, you should also listen to the surreal melody of the sea organ on the shore promenade of the city.
We then head inland on the route to the Krka National Park. This is where roaring waterfalls, deep canyons and lush green landscapes await curious visitors. On the way to our final stop, there are several more coastal locations to marvel at before we approach our destination of Split. The city is well known for its old town, in which buildings from every era merge together. The crystal clear water of the Adriatic invites you for swimming and snorkelling, and represents the perfect end to this unique route.
Would you like to know how you can continue the tour or find out more about the region? Detailed information can be found at PiNCAMP (in German).